Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Missions,Santa Barbara and Pea Soup- Tuesday, April 9, 2013

We were off visiting the area around Buellton where our motorhome is parked.  We started out driving through the town of Solvang eastward and on the east side is the Old Mission Santa Inez.  We made the stop and took the self guided tour through this old mission that is the 19th of 21 missions established by the Franciscan Fathers in 1804.These missions were established by Spain in order to protect this territory from Russia and England.  Capuchin Franciscans from Ireland were assigned to this mission in 1924 and continue today to serve the needs of the parish members and the community.

Turning south we continued our travels through the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the valley of the same name.  As we drove through the beautiful green mountains we stopped at overlooks to admire the valley below.  The Cachuma Lake and Dam clearly showed the lack of rain in this area with the low water marks on the perimeters.  Further along the road we were able to see, on the western side, the Pacific Ocean and city of Santa Barbara.

Finally, descending the mountains we were in Santa Barbara.  What a pretty city with the red tiled roofs of many buildings along with the stucco exteriors.  Stearns Wharf, the oldest working wooden pier on the West Coast, allows parking.  So we drove out on the pier and had lunch at the Moby Dick Restaurant.  Restaurants validate 90 minutes of parking fee.  We both had dinners of bacon wrapped shrimp- good.

Leaving the wharf we stopped at a Visitor's Center.  We had noticed trolley appearing tour buses and inquired about these tours and also about what should not be missed in this town.  Since the trolley only makes one 10 minute stop we passed over taking that tour and decided we could self tour.  So we were off.  The Old Mission Santa Barbara was a must see so we went on another self tour through this mission.   This mission founded in 1786 is the 10th of 21 Franciscan missions in California.

Our last stop in this city was at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.  This Spanish styled building was built in1929.  Ceiling are hand painted and walls are decorated with imported tiles.  An elevator goes up to the clock tower.  The workings of the clock can be viewed through a glass enclosure.  The walls in this clock room are covered in murals.  A floor above the clock room opens to outside viewing.

After returning to the motorhome and arranging our move for tomorrow, I phoned my former nursing school roommate, Alice Swope.  Alice moved to California shortly after graduation and we would be in her neck of the woods tomorrow.  As we talked about our travels and that we were in Buellton, Alice mentioned a restaurant, Pea Soup Andersen's.  Many years ago we (Todd,Thomas an exchange student and me) had been out in the San Diego area with Alice when we had stopped at another Pea Soup Andersen's in that area.  Since Tom had not been with us (he was attending a conference) he wanted to go to the restaurant and have some pea soup.  Split pea soup and salad was our supper this evening.